Romario Hobbs Daisley admitted that he knew of a plan to rob bread vendor Hayden Mayers but insisted that he did not kill him.
The then 18-year-old of Tranmore Lane, Waterford, St Michael made that comment to police during their investigations into Mayers’ shooting death on November 8, 2018.
Daisley had been charged with three other young men with Mayers’ murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter which was accepted by the prosecution.
In reading the facts, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale disclosed the contents of a dictated statement given by Daisley during investigations.
In it, the teenager said he and three men met at Red Zone and while walking two of the men said they “‘barely want somebody to rob”.
After he went home to change his pants, which he said was “dropping”, Daisley said the group of men walked through a gap and saw the bread man by a white van. At that point, he said, two of the men said they would “barely rob the bread man”.
Daisley and one of the men headed towards Mayers and “walk straight but we were supposed to stop and look out for [the other two]”. They subsequently “stopped where the barber man does be”.
“When we walked a couple steps, I heard a gunshot. I looked back up the gap and I saw [the other two men] running coming,” he told police, adding that one of them was carrying a gun.
He and the man who was with him were later told by the two runners that the bread man had been shot.
Daisley said he went home and found out the following day that Mayers had died.
He was told by the police that Mayers, according to the post mortem, died as a result of shock and hemorrhage due to a gunshot injury, to which he replied: “I sorry about his death.”
When he was informed that he was being charged with the offence of murder, the convicted man said: “I sorry for Hayden Mayers death. I did not kill him. Everybody does make mistakes.”
Mayers was killed while making his usual bread rounds around 9:45 p.m. that Thursday night. He had collected the bread from the usual location and serviced some of the routes as he made his way to collect his sister Monica Mayers who accompanied him.
They travelled to the Bush Hall area and drove to Park Road near Mansion Road, Bank Hall and stopped in the usual spot.
The deceased’s sister told police her brother was standing at the back of the van and had a bag around his waist in which he placed the money he collected from the bread sales. He also kept a container in the back of the van which was used to store coins.
She said that she suddenly heard someone say “don’t move, bread man”.
“I looked around and saw a man wearing a mask standing close to Hayden pointing a silver coloured gun at him. There was another man wearing a mask close to the first man. My brother was facing the man and I saw him reach for the bag . . . . Before my brother could get out the money I heard a loud explosion and I saw a flash of light from the gun. As soon as I heard the explosion, the two men ran off cross an open area . . . ,” she said.
“I saw my brother start to crouch and go towards the ground . . . . I saw blood on his shirt in the area of his left shoulder. The young girl that was by the van ran home shouting for her stepfather.
“All this time, my brother was gasping for air and making a gurgling sound. I also saw that more blood was coming from the area of his left shoulder and soaking into his shirt. Shortly afterwards, my brother gave another two gasps and his hands dropped . . . to his side. I was crying badly . . . . He was not responding . . . . My brother was a very kind and loving person . . . .”
Deputy DPP Seale said the manslaughter plea was accepted as the state had to prove Daisley’s intention to kill or cause serious bodily harm.
He explained that the convicted man and another was not present at the scene but “was part of a plan to rob . . . stood as watchmen who had planned for the robbery . . . [and] were only aware of certain things when they heard the gunshot, the explosion and the two men running past them”.
“It is therefore in those circumstances that the State was willingly to accept the plea of manslaughter as opposed to murder,” the Deputy DPP said.
The case against Daisley will continue on September 22.
In the meantime, a presentencing report has been ordered in preparation for his sentence. Daisley is represented by attorney-at-law Sian Lange.